Notwithstanding the love-hate relationship between the Samajwadi Party and the UPA government, the Akhilesh Yadav-led Uttar Pradesh government has agreed to sign a pact with the Centre that will lead to the development of over a dozen national highways in the state.
Following the recent intervention of the cabinet secretariat’s project monitoring group (PMG), the UP government is getting ready to sign the state support agreement with the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI).
Presently, over 15 highway projects being implemented by the NHAI are stuck because of the delay in signing the pact. Some PMG officials had gone to Lucknow recently to discuss the issue. “The chief secretary and other senior officials told us that the pact would be signed in September,” said an official who attended the meeting.
The state cabinet is likely to approve the proposal by August end. The pact ensures states’ cooperation in central highway projects and binds the state government to acquire land and get requisite environment and other clearances, help in utility shifting and ensure law and order for smooth implementation of road projects.
A senior road ministry official said, “UP was delaying signing the pact because a clause in the pact prohibited the state from building a competing facility. We are trying to resolve it.”
Delhi, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu are also yet to sign the pact with the NHAI.